Sci-Fi Romance, LGBTQ, Alien Encounters, Multiple Partners
Date Published: February 17, 2023
Connor Masterson has finally managed to take some time off and go to Earth Con. For three days and nights, he's going to get his geek on without worrying about work or the latest edition of his science fiction manga. He never expected to find two men who embody all his dreams and fantasies there and certainly not right after signing in.
Neither Valvik nor Zaraheed are looking forward to their current assignment: go to the Earth Con located in Austin, Texas and track down any and all rumors on the Ark scrolls, an ancient collection needed for the betterment of their dying people. Neither warrior expects to be drawn to a human, especially the same one.
The two men are determined to stay as low key as possible while searching for the scrolls, but that might be hard to do when an intergalactic killer wants the scrolls for himself.
Copyright ©2023 Theodora Marie Adams
"I truly cannot believe you have somehow convinced me to participate in this harebrained scheme of yours," Valvik growled through clenched teeth as he looked around the lobby. It was filled with people clustered in groups. Some were talking loudly, others were whispering as though fearful someone other than their neighbor would hear their innermost secrets. There were humans dressed in their favorite character's attire, aliens, human and alien scientists, intergalactic explorers and military men and women, and everything in between represented in the lobby of the center housing this weekend's Earth Con.
Valvik pulled at the hem of his simple white T-shirt. He felt ridiculously underdressed seeing as more than a quarter of the people there were dressed to the nines in their costumes and regalia, particularly those with an intergalactic military background. "I should have worn my uniform," he snarled.
"This is an important assignment given to us by General Tsubotai himself." Zaraheed turned slightly and looked over his shoulder at Valvik. His handsome face was a mask of displeasure. One dark eyebrow arched. "We are attempting to fit in. We are already conspicuous enough," he whispered harshly, glancing around at the many eyes watching them in curiosity.
At six feet eight, Valvik felt Zaraheed should be accustomed to being stared at on Earth. They'd been dealing with the looks the whole cursed assignment. Not that Valvik himself was much less physically impressive at six feet five inches.
Valvik stifled the urge to roll his eyes. It was a very human reaction, and really he was going to have to stop watching all their television, no matter how entertaining it was. "Humans are short. We look like giants compared to them. Second, we stand out because we are wearing regular clothing, or are you too blind to see everyone else is wearing their native ensembles? We are meant to be as discreet as possible."
"By dressing as humans, we actually stand out more," he grumbled. He glanced around the lobby again and blinked. "Isn't that a Pulloxian?" Valvik asked, and jerked his chin toward the being in question.
The being wore no disguise, at least none that Valvik could recognize. The male, and Valvik could tell its gender from the marks on his fur and their placement, was not trying to hide his large droopy eyes, medium green skin with black splotches, or his four-fingered, claw-tipped hands. To a human, the Pulloxian looked like a two-legged basset hound with slightly smaller ears and green fur. He was as conspicuous as one could get.
Zaraheed followed his gaze. He sighed and his broad shoulders slumped slightly. His amber eyes searched the group gathered around the Pulloxian. "Maybe you are right, as that one does seem to be basking in their attention," he admitted after a moment of contemplation.
"True." Valvik continued moving through the crowd so he could reach the check-in table that stood right in the middle front of the lobby. His superior hearing was able to capture bits and pieces of the conversation flowing around him. It seemed the Pulloxian was going to be a "shoe in" for best costume.
"Still, General Tsubotai was clear about what he expected of us."
"I read the mission parameters. There is no need to remind me. I would just like to point out that if we were allowed to wear our uniforms we would not be unarmed."
Zaraheed snorted. "You expect me to believe you are unarmed at the moment. Do not play me for a fool, Valvik the Glorious. You are probably carrying no less than five blades on your person."
Valvik allowed a small smile to settle across his mouth. "I am not as armed as I would like, and that is the truth. I am sure you feel the same, Zaraheed the Valiant," he retorted, looking his compatriot up and down.
Zaraheed's dark hair was bound into a single plait. The tail end of his sable hair swung just between the strong muscles of his back. A few strands had pulled free from the braid and framed the sides of Zaraheed's sharply planed handsome face. His most startling and mesmerizing feature was his eyes. They shifted colors depending on his emotion, going from the lightest sunset orange to the darkest color of a flame. Valvik had never seen such eyes before. He doubted he'd ever see another pair again.
Zaraheed caught Valvik staring. His gaze tightened. "What?" he asked.
Valvik shook his head. "Nothing. Forgive me. It seems I was lost in my thoughts," he admitted as he waved a consoling hand through the air.
Valvik was still trying to get accustomed to Zaraheed's dark complexion. As far as he knew all the members of the House of the Gallant had light hair and eyes. Valvik's house, Disciplined, had similar coloring. Valvik had pale blond hair and lavender eyes.
His dark hair and lightly tanned skin made Zaraheed an outsider, just as his gorgeous eyes did.
He'd heard rumors that Zaraheed was only half Tolkian. Valvik had done his best to ignore them as he wasn't much for gossip but he couldn't help wondering about the source of Zaraheed's mesmerizing features.
This was the second mission the two were working together so it wasn't that he'd never seen Zaraheed or noticed his unusual coloring, but there was something about seeing him in the lobby, wearing the preferred dress of the North American human male: white short-sleeve shirt and dark denim jeans, waiting in line for them to sign in for the Earth Convention that made Valvik all the more aware of his rich coloring.
The clothing should have made him appear as pale and washed out as it did Valvik, but Zaraheed looked magnificent. A small tendril of desire curled in his gut when he first walked into the convention center and spotted the Valiant warrior.
"I hope they are here," Zaraheed murmured, breaking him out of his thoughts.
Valvik grimaced, thinking on his words. It would be a shame if the scrolls they were searching for weren't on Earth. He personally thought it was ridiculous that the scrolls their whole legion had searched a thousand years and several galaxies for was supposedly on Earth and at a science fiction gathering. He laughed long and hard, until his stomach muscles protested, when his commanding officer relayed the information, thinking it was a joke.
Three standard months later and Valvik was in Austin, Texas, waiting in line for the Earth Convention.
Personally, Valvik didn't think there was a chance in all the known solar systems of the Ark scrolls being at the convention, but he went where his commanding officer sent him. Even if it was the stupidest mission ever. "If it is... I'm not entirely sure what I will do, but I know it will include lots and lots of blood," he muttered. And intoxicants. He would need barrels and barrels of wine to drink away the insult.
Zaraheed stilled. Valvik turned to look at his compatriot in question. Zaraheed shook his head as though confused, then, eyes bright, laughed. The booming sound caught the attention of the people waiting around them and they watched, mesmerized.
Valvik knew how they felt...
About the Author
Theodora is an avid traveler who discovered Japanese manga and anime in her youth, closely followed by yaoi. She's been in love with pretty boys who love equally attractive men since then. Theodora can usually be found in a local coffee shop drinking black tea and typing furiously.
Follow the Publisher on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @changelingpress
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